The jewel of the Texas A&M football team's 2013 recruiting class was Sealy, Texas wide receiver Ricky Seals-Jones. Despite his season-ending knee injury, Seals-Jones will live up to his advance billing before he leaves Aggieland for the NFL.
Seals-Jones is a matchup nightmare for opposing defenses. At 6'6" and 240 pounds, he has tight end size but wide receiver speed. Seals-Jones is too big for a cornerback to cover and too fast for a safety or linebacker to match up with.
He made a name for himself in his first collegiate game with a 71-yard catch and run for a touchdown against Rice. Seals-Jones finished the game with three catches for 84 yards and a touchdown.
Sumlin confirms medical redshirt likely for WR Ricky Seals-Jones (knee surgery) He told RSJ a redshirt yr worked out well for Mike Evans.— Kate Hairopoulos (@khairopoulos) September 24, 2013
The freshman receiver played against Alabama but was bothered by a knee injury. He had surgery and is expected to take a medical redshirt in 2013.
If Seals-Jones takes the medical redshirt, then he will have four more years of eligibility to play at A&M. A redshirt year would allow him to rehab and develop more as a receiver.
An Athlete In High School
Seals-Jones played multiple positions in high school. He played defensive end, wide receiver, quarterback and safety in football.
Seals-Jones was also a basketball star at Sealy High School who earned scholarship offers from LSU and Baylor. He played AAU basketball during the summer and was not able to focus on football year-round like a lot of other major recruits.
By playing multiple positions and multiple sports, Seals-Jones held himself back as a wide receiver. He was not able to learn all the nuances of the position that he would have had he only played wide receiver.
While getting injured and redshirting could be viewed as a setback, it will allow Seals-Jones to spend more time in the meeting rooms learning the game. It will give him another year to work on running routes and learning his place in the Texas A&M offense.
The Aggies practice at a very frenetic place so they can play fast during games. When you are a freshman who is learning a new position, it is very hard to keep up.
No one ever wants to be injured, but the redshirt year should help ease Seals-Jones' adjustment to the college game.
Replacement For Evans?
Texas A&M sophomore wide receiver Mike Evans is having an All-American season. He has caught 28 passes for 691 yards and five touchdowns in five games.
Evans is a third-year sophomore who is eligible for the 2014 NFL Draft. He is on pace to have a 1,500-yard receiving year. If Evans continues his torrid pace, he may decide to declare early for the draft.
Since Evans' family has taken out a loan to pay for an insurance policy on him, logic dictates that they believe he has an NFL future. Aggie fans should not expect to see him in maroon and white in 2014.
The 6'5", 225-pound Evans is a physical mismatch for the defensive backs who cover him. He uses his superior size and strength to shield them from the ball.
Evans is the ideal player for Seals-Jones to emulate. He can learn a lot from how Evans plays the game all-out on every play.
Aggie fans have to hope that Seals-Jones is paying attention because he will likely be the player who replaces Evans at outside receiver in 2014.
How many yards receiving will Ricky Seals-Jones have in 2014?
Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin has had great receivers everywhere he has been. Sumlin has had at least one 1,000-yard receiver in his offense every season that he has been head coach. He had a 1,000-yard receiver at Houston in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and at A&M in 2012.
It will be Seals-Jones turn in 2014. With his combination of size, speed and a year of experience in the Aggie system, Seals-Jones will be the focal point of the Aggies' passing game in 2014, and will put up numbers that will justify all of the hype he received coming out of high school.